sidesword Archive

  • <p>I’m trying to figure out the very influential translation by Villamont from Italian to French of Cavalcabo’s Treatise or Instruction on Fighting with Weapons (1597) and a similar essay by Patenostrier. This text is available in English translation by Rob Runacres of the Renaissance Sword Club.</p>
<p>The text is fairly straightforward but there are occasional sections which seem very dense and need some unpacking to understand what is being said. Here’s the second example I came across and what I did with it.</p>
<blockquote><p>“<strong>Against those who use feints</strong><br />
So you understand which things are counters to those who use </p></blockquote> […]

    Cavalcabo: Techniques Against Feints

    I’m trying to figure out the very influential translation by Villamont from Italian to French of Cavalcabo’s Treatise or Instruction on Fighting with Weapons (1597) and a similar essay by Patenostrier. This text is available in English translation by Rob Runacres of the Renaissance Sword Club.

    The text is fairly straightforward but there are occasional sections which seem very dense and need some unpacking to understand what is being said. Here’s the second example I came across and what I did with it.

    Against those who use feints
    So you understand which things are counters to those who use

    […]
  • <p>I’m back and I’m exploring the development of the French school between Henry de Sainct-Didier (1573), the first native fencing manual, and Charles Besnard (1653), the cementing of the French school in fencing with the foil.</p>
<p>To start, I’m trying to figure out the very influential translation by Villamont from Italian to French of Cavalcabo’s <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Treatise or Instruction on Fighting with Weapons</span> (1597) and a similar essay by Patenostrier. This text is available in English translation by Rob Runacres of the Renaissance Sword Club.</p>
<p>The text is fairly straightforward but there are occasional sections which seem very dense and need some unpacking  […]</p>

    Cavalcabo: Unpacking His Example Actions

    I’m back and I’m exploring the development of the French school between Henry de Sainct-Didier (1573), the first native fencing manual, and Charles Besnard (1653), the cementing of the French school in fencing with the foil.

    To start, I’m trying to figure out the very influential translation by Villamont from Italian to French of Cavalcabo’s Treatise or Instruction on Fighting with Weapons (1597) and a similar essay by Patenostrier. This text is available in English translation by Rob Runacres of the Renaissance Sword Club.

    The text is fairly straightforward but there are occasional sections which seem very dense and need some unpacking […]

  • <p>The most difficult aspect of interpreting Henry de Sainct-Didier’s Secrets of the Sword Alone (1573) is not so much finding a translation for his rather vague and nebulous term <em>desrober</em> but understanding how he applies it to his system of swordsmanship. His meaning is made clear not by understanding the word itself but through simple contextual analysis of the strikes before and after the action he calls <em>desrober</em>. I will show here that Sainct-Didier has a clear and consistent meaning for the term which serves to underscore the basic principles of his text.</p>
<p>The term itself is easily understood.  […]</p>

    Henry de Sainct-Didier’s “Desrober”

    The most difficult aspect of interpreting Henry de Sainct-Didier’s Secrets of the Sword Alone (1573) is not so much finding a translation for his rather vague and nebulous term desrober but understanding how he applies it to his system of swordsmanship. His meaning is made clear not by understanding the word itself but through simple contextual analysis of the strikes before and after the action he calls desrober. I will show here that Sainct-Didier has a clear and consistent meaning for the term which serves to underscore the basic principles of his text.

    The term itself is easily understood. […]

  • <p>Here’s my modern English translation of Henry de Sainct-Didier’s 1573 sidesword/rapier treatise <em>Secrets of the Sword Alone</em>. This is a straight translation. I’ve not attempted to interpret the text as it’s really not required.</p>
<p>It’s 154 pages long including  an introduction and 34 pages of Sainct Didier’s images.</p>
<p>The print version is currently available from these stores.</p>
<ul>
<li>Lulu</li>
<li>Book Depository</li>
<li>Amazon</li>
<li>Barnes and Noble</li>
<li>AbeBooks</li>
<li>Foyles</li>
<li>Adlibris</li>
</ul>
<p>The eBook can be ordered today from these stores:</p>
<ul>
<li>Barnes and Noble</li>
<li>Apple iBookstore</li>
<li>Kobo</li>
<li>Amazon (Kindle)</li>
<li>Bookworld</li>
<li>Angus & Robertson</li>
<li>Scribd</li>
<li>Blio</li>
<li>BookBaby</li>
</ul>
<p>The back of the book says:</p>
<p><em><span style="color: #000000;">A modern </span></em> […]</p>

    Secrets of the Sword Alone: Where do I buy it?

    Here’s my modern English translation of Henry de Sainct-Didier’s 1573 sidesword/rapier treatise Secrets of the Sword Alone. This is a straight translation. I’ve not attempted to interpret the text as it’s really not required.

    It’s 154 pages long including  an introduction and 34 pages of Sainct Didier’s images.

    The print version is currently available from these stores.

    • Lulu
    • Book Depository
    • Amazon
    • Barnes and Noble
    • AbeBooks
    • Foyles
    • Adlibris

    The eBook can be ordered today from these stores:

    • Barnes and Noble
    • Apple iBookstore
    • Kobo
    • Amazon (Kindle)
    • Bookworld
    • Angus & Robertson
    • Scribd
    • Blio
    • BookBaby

    The back of the book says:

    A modern […]

  • <p>This is a translation of the section concerning how to step correctly in Henri de Sainct Didier’s Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows.</p>
<ul>
<li>Secrets of the Single Sword – Jeu de Paulme</li>
</ul>
<p>The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not  […]</p>

    Sainct Didier’s Comparison of Fencing and Tennis

    This is a translation of the section concerning how to step correctly in Henri de Sainct Didier’s Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows.

    • Secrets of the Single Sword – Jeu de Paulme

    The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not […]

  • <p>This is a translation of the section concerning how to step correctly in Henri de Sainct Didier’s Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows.</p>
<ul>
<li>Secrets of the Single Sword – Disarms and Subtleies</li>
</ul>
<p>The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not  […]</p>

    Sainct Didier’s Disarms and Subtleties

    This is a translation of the section concerning how to step correctly in Henri de Sainct Didier’s Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows.

    • Secrets of the Single Sword – Disarms and Subtleies

    The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not […]

  • <p>This is a translation of the section concerning how to step correctly in Henri de Sainct Didier’s Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows.</p>
<ul>
<li>Secrets of the Single Sword – Triangle and Quadrangle</li>
</ul>
<p>The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not  […]</p>

    Sainct Didier’s Footwork

    This is a translation of the section concerning how to step correctly in Henri de Sainct Didier’s Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows.

    • Secrets of the Single Sword – Triangle and Quadrangle

    The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not […]

  • This is a translation of the section concerning how to draw the sword in Henri de Sainct Didier's Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows. The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not noted here.

    Sainct Didier’s Six Basic Strikes

    This is a translation of the section concerning how to draw the sword in Henri de Sainct Didier's Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows. The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not noted here.
  • This is a translation of the section concerning how to draw the sword in Henri de Sainct Didier's Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows. The importance that Sainct Didier gives to drawing the sword is a puzzle that I believe is only resolved when the illustrations are considered literally. All the draws start with the opponents facing each other, feet together and hands on hilts. This does not suggest to me a military application but a civilian and social setting, whether a judicial duel, duel of honour of friendly competition.

    Sainct Didier’s Drawing the Sword

    This is a translation of the section concerning how to draw the sword in Henri de Sainct Didier's Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows. The importance that Sainct Didier gives to drawing the sword is a puzzle that I believe is only resolved when the illustrations are considered literally. All the draws start with the opponents facing each other, feet together and hands on hilts. This does not suggest to me a military application but a civilian and social setting, whether a judicial duel, duel of honour of friendly competition.
  • This is my translation of the defenses and counters outlined in Day Two of Giovanni Dall'Agocchie’s On The Art of Fencing. I’ve simplified and condensed drastically to discover the basic bio-mechanic movements behind the the vast catalogue of Italian terminology. Bolognese scholars are free to think this post sacrilege.

    Table of Defenses Actions in Dall’Agocchie

    This is my translation of the defenses and counters outlined in Day Two of Giovanni Dall'Agocchie’s On The Art of Fencing. I’ve simplified and condensed drastically to discover the basic bio-mechanic movements behind the the vast catalogue of Italian terminology. Bolognese scholars are free to think this post sacrilege.
  • <p>I’ve finished Days One and Two of Giovanni Dall’Agocchie’s On the Art of Fencing and I’ve got some notes and observations to share. And I’ve got to say I’m terrified of making my little contribution to the field public given the amount and depth of study others have put into the Bolognese tradition.</p>
<p>I’m just a simple swordsman and I reckon that learning from the sources can give me an edge over others I bout with. This may mean I look at the tradition from a slightly different angle and it may help beginners unravel some of its intricacies.</p>
<p>The  […]</p>

    Notes on Dall’Agocchie’s Days One and Two

    I’ve finished Days One and Two of Giovanni Dall’Agocchie’s On the Art of Fencing and I’ve got some notes and observations to share. And I’ve got to say I’m terrified of making my little contribution to the field public given the amount and depth of study others have put into the Bolognese tradition.

    I’m just a simple swordsman and I reckon that learning from the sources can give me an edge over others I bout with. This may mean I look at the tradition from a slightly different angle and it may help beginners unravel some of its intricacies.

    The […]

  • <p>I’m about to embark on a review of Giovanni Dall’Agocchie’s 1572 fencing treatise “Dell’Arte Di Scrimia” (The Art of Fencing) and it terrifies me. Not because the text is difficult or unapproachable but because there’s already been so much research and practice of the Bolognese tradition that I doubt whether I can add anything to that body of work. My approach, however, may be a little different.</p>
<p>I’m not so much concerned with re-creating the style as it was but understanding how I can use what Dall’Agocchie can teach in my own practice. How, for instance, does he propose I  […]</p>

    Next: Giovanni Dall’Agocchie

    I’m about to embark on a review of Giovanni Dall’Agocchie’s 1572 fencing treatise “Dell’Arte Di Scrimia” (The Art of Fencing) and it terrifies me. Not because the text is difficult or unapproachable but because there’s already been so much research and practice of the Bolognese tradition that I doubt whether I can add anything to that body of work. My approach, however, may be a little different.

    I’m not so much concerned with re-creating the style as it was but understanding how I can use what Dall’Agocchie can teach in my own practice. How, for instance, does he propose I […]

  • <p>This is a translation of the essay at the front of Henri de Sainct Didier’s The Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). I have not translated the epistolary verses or any more of the text at this stage. This is a task for someone with more time available than I currently have available to me.</p>
<ul>
<li>The Secrets of the Single Sword – General Essay</li>
</ul>
<p>The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le  […]</p>

    Henri de Sainct Didier’s General Essay

    This is a translation of the essay at the front of Henri de Sainct Didier’s The Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). I have not translated the epistolary verses or any more of the text at this stage. This is a task for someone with more time available than I currently have available to me.

    • The Secrets of the Single Sword – General Essay

    The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le […]

  • <p>I’ve been reviewing my notes on both the sidesword and dusack techniques shown in Joachim Meyer‘s Art of Combat and a couple of key principles stand out. Master these and you’ve got the core of the single sword style he taught. This post outlines the core principles in a format from which a lesson plan could be developed.</p>
Core Principles
<p>Forget all the talk about the multitude of postures and cuts. The key is that you cut to attack and, for the most part, cut to defend.</p>
<p>Cuts are either vertical, horizontal or diagonal whether from above or below. When  […]</p>

    Learning Sidesword Fundamentals

    I’ve been reviewing my notes on both the sidesword and dusack techniques shown in Joachim Meyer‘s Art of Combat and a couple of key principles stand out. Master these and you’ve got the core of the single sword style he taught. This post outlines the core principles in a format from which a lesson plan could be developed.

    Core Principles

    Forget all the talk about the multitude of postures and cuts. The key is that you cut to attack and, for the most part, cut to defend.

    Cuts are either vertical, horizontal or diagonal whether from above or below. When […]

  • <p> </p>
<p> This post marks the end of my investigations into A Tract on the Single Sword of Henri de Sainct Didier (1573), another member of Club 1570. I’m presenting here my notes on his sidesword technique (PDF) for public appraisal. Any and all feedback is gratefully appreciated.</p>
<ul>
<li>Summary of Henri de Sainct Didier’s Sidesword Lessons (PDF)</li>
</ul>
<p>My initial thoughts were pretty much correct. The text is a series of lesson plans rather than a coherent sword combat system. Sainct Didier is all about training young courtiers rather than warriors.</p>
<p>There’s little in the way of description of the stages of  […]</p>

    Summary of Henri de Sainct Didier’s Rapier System

     

    This post marks the end of my investigations into A Tract on the Single Sword of Henri de Sainct Didier (1573), another member of Club 1570. I’m presenting here my notes on his sidesword technique (PDF) for public appraisal. Any and all feedback is gratefully appreciated.

    • Summary of Henri de Sainct Didier’s Sidesword Lessons (PDF)

    My initial thoughts were pretty much correct. The text is a series of lesson plans rather than a coherent sword combat system. Sainct Didier is all about training young courtiers rather than warriors.

    There’s little in the way of description of the stages of […]